Filipino listed company ISM Communications Corp, which is controlled by one of the country’s former trade ministers, Roberto Ongpin, has purchased Smart Communication’s 9.8% stake in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc (ETPI) for PHP100 million (USD2.25 million), writes the Manila Standard Today. Following the deal, which was funded from the proceeds of ISM’s PHP300 million rights offering in June, Ongpin’s firm now directly and indirectly controls 67.5% of ETPI. ISM says it is also interested in acquiring the 10% shares sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government in ETPI. ISM originally purchased a 57.7% stake in the telco via the buyout of the 40% interest of Australia Gigahertz Network International and the 17.7% held by Aerocom Investors and Managers. ISM intends to inject additional investments in ETPI in the next fiscal quarter. Eastern Telecom was originally controlled by Cable and Wireless of the UK and is the oldest telephone company in the Philippines. After six years of losses, ETPI reported a profit of PHP31 million in 2006, a turnaround from a loss of PHP540 million the previous year.